INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today that Jimmy W. Burleson, 64, of Noblesville, Ind., was sentenced to 36 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt following his guilty plea to wire fraud and making a false tax return. This case was the result of a joint investigation by the United States Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“Crimes of greed especially during this time of economic recovery, hurt everyone. Burleson took advantage of his employer and cheated the company. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate and prosecute those individuals who use positions of authority to steal and cheat,” said U.S. Attorney Hogsett. Burleson served as Controller/Secretary of an Indianapolis business, T.A.G. Coatings Corp., and while employed, embezzled over $760,000 from his employer between June 15, 2005 and December 15, 2009. Burleson used his position within the company to conduct hundreds of telephone/electronic wire transfers from business checking accounts to pay credit card accounts of his in the names of Jimmy Burleson, Dr. Jimmy W. Burleson and his wife, Sandra J. Burleson.
Burleson further used his position of trust to conceal the embezzlement of the money by falsifying the “Daily Cash Reports.” As Controller/Secretary, Burleson was required to submit the “Daily Cash Report” to the owner/president of the T.A.G. Coating Corp. every business day. The document reported the daily cash position of the business’s checking account to include balance, deposits, and any disbursements made from the account via cash withdrawals, check payments, electronic payments (ACH Debits), and payments to business equity credit lines. The investigation revealed that the Burleson would take large credit advances on the credit card accounts to deposit into his personal checking accounts to pay for his home and vehicles, and fund the everyday living expenses of his family, children, and grandchildren.
None of the money embezzled by Burleson was reported as income by him in his federal tax returns for the years 2005 through 2008. Accordingly, the returns he filed for each of those years fraudulently understated his income. The tax loss to the government resulting from the false tax returns totaled $111,907.00
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Warden, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Walton Pratt also imposed three years supervised release following Burleson’s release from prison. Burleson was ordered to pay restitution to the business in the amount of $760,405.74, of which he has paid $125,000. “The continuing breach of trust undertaken by Burleson cost the taxpayers of the United States and his employer very dearly,” Warden added.